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9 Characteristics of a Good Instructional Design Company

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9 Characteristics of a Good Instructional Design Company

Are you finding it difficult to identify the right one from a myriad of eLearning companies? Is it confusing to decide which company can meet your training requirements? A good instructional design company turns your training needs into online learning courses, in a systematic manner. Do you require information on the criteria of a good eLearning company?

Here are nine attributes you should consider in an instructional design company, to gauge its competence.

1. Background in Training:

Learning and development professionals with considerable experience in training can make a good eLearning design company; they will have a good understanding of training. This domain knowledge helps them understand client requirements very well. When they know their client’s needs and challenges thoroughly, they can provide relevant online learning solutions.

2. Robust eLearning Design Process:

A good instructional design company should follow a systematic eLearning design and development process. Clearly defined processes that help in the smooth execution of your eLearning projects.

At CommLab India, we have developed a robust, and agile eLearning design and development process based on the Successive Approximation model (SAM).

The three-phase agile process helps understand stakeholders’ requirements and educate them on the e-learning development process.

First is preparation phase – This is the initial phase in the SAM model in which a kickoff meeting with all team members of the project is held to gather basic information about the learning outcomes.

In the second phase, the prototype with professional voiceover gives clients a clear understanding of how the final course would be after completion.

In the third phase, the complete course is developed without audio. Audio is added after the course is finalized, and delivered to the client.

Constant communication with the client in all the three phases helps keep eLearning design and development on track, within definite budgets and timelines.

3. Adept at Using Rapid Authoring Tools:

The company that professes to be a good eLearning company must have the expertise to use various rapid authoring tools and keep tabs on the latest trends/developments in the eLearning software arena. Organizations use a specific tool for their in-house eLearning requirement; when that need grows and they want to outsource the additional requirement, they naturally approach an instructional design company that has expertise in using the same tool.

Good training and online learning companies understand which tool is suitable for your training requirements. For example, Lectora is best known for its translation-friendliness and Adobe Captivate for software simulations.

4. Sticking to the Scope:

A good instructional design company will understand the stakeholder’s requirement clearly and come up with its part in fulfilling that need. It won’t deviate from that scope once defined with the mutual consent of the stakeholder. Confining to the project scope is beneficial to both parties as you won’t miss timelines and cross your set budgets.

5. Adhering to Timelines and Budget:

A good eLearning design company will adhere to the set timelines and budget of the project. It will chalk out a detailed workable plan for the course development process. This will give you a typical idea of the development time of each stage. The timelines are also inclusive of stakeholder reviews.

Instructional design companies that follow best practices will come up with the total costs of resources and skills that will be required for the complete project. When you talk about resources, it includes employees, technology (software/tools), and expertise too.

6. Ability to Work with Geographically-dispersed Teams:

A good eLearning company will be able to work with clients and stakeholders who work in various locations, time zones, and cultures. It will assign dedicated project managers for each client who can be the single point of contact (SPOC) from the beginning to the completion of the project.

7. Have a Team with Varied Skill Sets:

A bunch of multimedia designers and developers chunking the content onscreen, and crerating voiceover is not instructional design. A good eLearning company will have qualified and experienced instructional designers, L&D experts, and Subject Matter Experts (SMEs).

It will have the right mix of seasoned professionals from diverse fields such as technology, multimedia, project management, and training.

8. Thought Leadership of the Industry:

A good e-learning company always contributes its knowledge and expertise for the common good of the larger community. It will share its experience and thoughts on the latest developments in the eLearning domain. This can be in the form of blogs, whitepapers, eBooks, webinars, seminars, and more.

9. Client Testimonials & References:

The type of testimonials a company receives from its clients will define its reliability. These will show the eLearning company’s competence. Clients referring an eLearning company to other organizations show its ability to serve the training needs. Referrals also help organizations know about the customer service it has offered to its clients.

I hope the given list of characteristics helps you find an e-learning partner who meets your training requirements. All the best in your search for a good instructional design company!

View E-book on Instructional Design 101: A Handy Reference Guide to E-learning Designers

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